The fifth graders at Arthur M. Longsjo Jr. Middle School celebrated Arbor Day by planting two trees in their schoolyard.
“We get a chance to talk about the importance of trees and how they help us in our everyday life,” said Sara Sankowich, system arborist for Unitil. "We discussed the 13 things that trees give us, which includes clean air, wood products, food, animal habitat, beauty, recreation, erosion control, fertilize the soil, fuel, medicine, wind break, shade and jobs.”
After a classroom presentation, Sankowich and the students headed outside to assist with the planting of two Eastern Redbud trees on Pleasant Street, which were donated by Unitil.
“This is a great experience for the students because it is hands-on learning,” said Principal Craig Chalifoux.
Sankowich explained how to properly plant a tree. "We measure the root ball to make sure the hole is the proper size.” She emphasized that the hole should not be too deep, or the roots won't get the water and oxygen they need to grow.
The students took turns filling in around the root ball with soil and topping it off with mulch.
Each year, the Arbor Day Foundation encourages individuals and organizations to plant trees on Arbor Day, which was April 27.
Unitil provides electric service to Ashby, Fitchburg, Lunenburg and Townsend, and natural gas service to those communities, as well as Gardner and Westminster.
Click here for our 2012 Arbor Day photo gallery on flickr®.